Behavior Psychology Project

Daniel Pinchasow

Queens College, CUNY

 

Author Note

Daniel Pinchasow is a Junior at Queens College, CUNY, majoring in Psychology with a minor in the Pre-Health Services.

This experiment was supervised by the Department of Psychology of Queens College. Any questions regarding this experiment, please contact 718-997-3200 or email: qc_psychology@qc.cuny.edu.

Title: Behavior Psychology Project

1.     Target behavior

The target behavior that I will try to change is my health habits because of my lifestyle. It is a desirable habit that I will be working on because I have noticed that I consume a lot of processed foods and there is also limited physical activity in my daily routine life. I want to avoid the chronic diseases later on in my life because many issues are linked to the consumption of fast foods such as diabetes, heart issues and obesity.

My motive is to eat healthy besides staying more physically active because the use of technological gadgets has limited my movement. I used to be more active and I want to regain that strength again in my life. Consequently, the end result would have a positive influence on my overall quality of life.

  1. Importance of this behavior

Burgoine et al. (2016) have put forward that the issues of obesity are on the rise because of increased fast food consumption among the individuals and less focus on improving the lifestyle. In addition, Cevallos & Jaramillo (2016) have also stated that the physical problems among individuals are also increasing due to the sedentary habits. Thus, in light of these researches, it is imperative for the individuals to focus more on the health habits that would eventually help them in staying physically as well as mentally strong.

It could be carried out by eating healthy and natural foods besides avoiding the processed foods that are a quick alternatives. In addition, staying physically active has now become a burden in the current world scenario which is a threat to every individual’s healthy since many problems could be avoided simply by being more active.

Therefore, I would like to change my habits from unhealthier activities towards healthier ones in order to feel stronger and think better. I would also be able to avoid health related problems later on in life therefore, my target is to eat healthy and to be physically active because there is almost no physical activity or exercise in my daily routine.

  1. Operational definition

The healthy habits could be defined as following:

‘Activities in which a person is more inclined towards eating natural foods (such as vegetables, grains or fruits etc.), avoiding processed foods (e.g., frozen foods, fast foods and processed foods) and maintaining a healthy weight by staying physically active for at least 30 minutes a day’

According to the above definition, the healthy activities would be measured in the following ways:

  • Physical activity in the form of exercise will be noted on the watch. The target is to stay active for at least 30 minutes per day
  • Daily consumption of the healthy food will be examined from the grocery expenses and I will also take a written record of my meals
  1. Treatment method

In order to achieve the desired goal, I will use positive reinforcement because I consume a lot of processed foods. It will not be easy for me to move from that lifestyle towards a healthy one in which I would have to push myself and my boundaries at the same time. For instance, in order to be physically active, I will try to run or do jogging. If this is not possible for me, I would then do indoor physical exercise. The aim is to stay active for at least 30 minutes in a day.

I will also reward myself in the form of a good movie or a light snack like chocolate, candy etc. because I will not be consuming it throughout the week. Furthermore, these reinforcers will only be taken once a week after checking the weight. If I am achieving the targeted healthy weight and I have not indulged myself in consuming the processed foods, I will reward myself.

  1. Reinforcers to be used

I will use the following reinforcers which will be small snacks and will only be consumed once a week:

  • A small chocolate bar
  • Diet coke
  • Low sugar snack
  • 2 cookies
  • A small snack from a local fast food
  1. Experimental design

The experimental design that will be used for this plan is changing criterion design because I am doing this experiment on myself. I will change the reinforcing snack every week and check the outcome. For instance, if I prefer eating fast food than a small block of chocolate to reward myself, I would evaluate the weekly outcome by reviewing my motivation/weight/personal subjective point of view of my health. In other words, I would examine the rewards that are keeping me more motivated and I would use those specific rewards to improve the behavior.

It will help me in choosing the right reinforce that would have helped me more aggressively. If I am feeling more energetic or motivated to follow the behavior plan because of a certain reinforcer, I would choose that option more frequently and vice versa. The goal of this experimental design is to increase my healthy habits and lower the unhealthy habits that would eventually have a positive influence on my health and weight.

By Daniel Pinchas

Phone number: +1 347 5421 265

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